Male Pelvic Pain: A young man’s story of winning the game
Almost a year ago, desperate for answers to my terrible discomfort around my pelvic and lower back area, I was feeling pretty helpless.
I had spent three years visiting numerous specialists for urinary tract infections, sexual health diseases, prostate issues, and much more.
I’d had more prostate checks than all of my male relatives put together – at just 21-years-old!
For me, the worst thing about a chronic illness is the mental attachment the patient has to it each day. Often they aren’t overtly painful all of the time, but they linger and niggle and exhaust. Sometimes those can be the worst kinds of illness.
I left each appointment frustrated and with more questions than answers, until I came across Harborne Physiotherapy and Acupuncture Clinic in Birmingham, West Midlands.
There, I met Gerard Greene, a Men’s health physiotherapist who worked with me on an exercise programme, breathing techniques, and meditation.
Could an illness I felt I had been battling forever really be tackled by breathing and other techniques?
Yes, it could!
Ten percent of men experience prostatitis-like symptoms at some point in their lives, and around 97 percent of these do not have an infection.
The majority of these men have pelvic floor dysfunction and can benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy rather than copious amounts of antibiotics - I had been on ofloxacin for two years before turning to physiotherapy.
My new programme under Gerard’s guidance involved reverse Kegels (repeatedly relaxing the pelvic floor muscles), stopping any heavy abdominal workouts that I was doing, and replacing them with some hip-loosening exercises and yoga sessions instead.
It was simple, and most of the exercises I was copying from YouTube clips.
It took around a month for me to begin noticing that my discomfort was starting to diminish, but I was still a little sceptical something that I lived with everyday for three years would begin to subside so quickly.
Gerard then introduced me to the EZMagic internal massager. It is a tool designed to loosen the internal muscles of the pelvic floor, through the back passage - not entirely pleasant, granted, but certainly not painful, and a very effective way of relieving discomfort in the short term, in my case.
The EZMagic shouldn’t be used without a guide from your physiotherapist first.
I initially used the EZMagic three times a week, as my discomfort was noticeable constantly, but as my aches began to lessen, I slowly reduced its usage. I am now at a stage where I rarely feel I need to use it, but do so once every fortnight to ensure little chance of pain returning.
Nearly a year on, I now spend most days largely pain free.
I still do the breathing techniques and reverse Kegels throughout the day. The reverse Kegels don’t have to be done in the traditional way, and can be done sitting down at a desk, where I often do them.
While my pains are not completely gone, I cannot thank Gerard enough for seeing me on my way to recovery, and teaching me how some internal pains can genuinely be helped by sitting back, focusing on the breath, using the EZMagic and doing some exercise.I’d also recommend reading Teach Us To Sit Still: A Sceptic’s Search to Health and Healing, by Tim Parks. While it is primarily about his own battle with his prostate pelvic pain related condition, much of what he says is relevant to many suffering with chronic pelvic .
JH West Midlands, Discharged Pelvic male pelvic pain patient and lifelong Bham City Fan !!